hawkfan89

Professional Hockey League; A Fictional History: 2004-05 Regular Season

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Well, I just spent 20 hours of my life reading through this thread. It was time well spent. Go Shamrocks!

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On 6/17/2018 at 8:55 PM, Cardsblues02 said:

Yes! Yes! Years (not technically) of waiting are over. Houston is a hockey town at last! One more season of dismal Sound hockey and then the whole fiasco ends! Wow. Beyond excited! When I logged on and checked the post, man, that has to be the most excited I have been getting onto these boards. This thread/league is the absolute greatest. With a team in the league I can really get behind, I can really look forward to many more years of great PHL hockey. 

 

Relocation to New Orleans was a bad move from the start. While the league had been extremely successful with southern expansion, you could just tell this wouldn’t end well. Now that Houston is in the picture for good, the PHL has a stronghold in cities that will continue to support hockey. No more unstable franchises like the Sound for the time being. Hopefully, in the final season in New Orleans, the team is treated like a farm system team. Develop the young draft picks, lose enough to get a high pick. Trade away big contracts hopefully. I look forward to seeing Peter Kaleek blossom into a star in H-Town. So excited!!! @hawkfan89 what direction do you see the team moving in? Is Nikula young? 

 

The team has already gotten rid of most of their big contracts, unfortunately two of those players (McNair and Darren Reid) are potential superstars just entering their prime. They have been doing a good job with the rebuild so far though. Kaleek will be a solid goaltender, maybe one of the best. Koskov was also a solid pick. At 28, Nikula is not really young but could still be around when the team is ready to contend. He will be valuable in the room with all the kids or he could become a good asset at the trade deadline. The key to that deal was the first round pick, but since Boston's pick would likely be low, they needed to package it with something.

 

On 6/19/2018 at 1:15 PM, Cardinal said:

What names are they considering after the move? Im assuming they wont stay the Sound.

 

Long term they will not keep the Sound name (this isn't the NBA after all). The name for Houston will likely be oil-themed. I had considered some space-themed names but went that direction for Cleveland instead. I also feel like the space theme is a little played out for Houston in real life anyway. I think we also have enough aviation-themed teams already.

 

I have already started work on a possible logo and have tried it in different colours. So far the best combinations seem to be either navy and gold or navy and red. I think there's a good chance of a red jersey partly due to the very surprising lack of red primary jerseys in the league.

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6 hours ago, hawkfan89 said:

Long term they will not keep the Sound name (this isn't the NBA after all). The name for Houston will likely be oil-themed. I had considered some space-themed names but went that direction for Cleveland instead. I also feel like the space theme is a little played out for Houston in real life anyway. I think we also have enough aviation-themed teams already.

 

I have already started work on a possible logo and have tried it in different colours. So far the best combinations seem to be either navy and gold or navy and red. I think there's a good chance of a red jersey partly due to the very surprising lack of red primary jerseys in the league.

So we can expect a name like the Drillers or Roughnecks for Houston. I think Roughnecks would fit into a sorta "Edgy" 2000s Name

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On 6/20/2018 at 4:34 AM, anonymous. said:

Well, I just spent 20 hours of my life reading through this thread. It was time well spent. Go Shamrocks!

Welcome aboard!

 

On 6/23/2018 at 2:20 PM, PowderedWater said:

I’ve loved this thread since it was started. I’m writing an alt history where the IHL overtakes the NHL.

I'd love to see that project. I remember when it almost seemed like that's what the IHL was attempting to do when they started putting teams in big markets like Chicago and Milwaukee.

 

On 6/23/2018 at 7:09 PM, Darknes said:

So we can expect a name like the Drillers or Roughnecks for Houston. I think Roughnecks would fit into a sorta "Edgy" 2000s Name

I wasn't initially going to say it but "Roughnecks" is the leading contender right now. The logo I've been working on features an oil derrick but I'm trying to decide if it works as a main logo. I'll play with it some more. Right now I've been mostly focused on the WHC. The 2004 uniforms are done so I'll probably begin simulating the tournament tonight.

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Houston Roughnecks with a gold and navy scheme would be pretty awesome. Thats about as “Texan” as it gets and I love it. Hopefully they can win fans over right away with a great brand. Then hopefully they can win ON the ice, after a few years of rebuilding of course (because how do you expect to compete after what...happened).

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On 5/4/2018 at 9:01 PM, hawkfan89 said:

2003 Off-Season Bendt excitedly announced the signing of future hall-of-famer Lamar Jackson to a $5 Million deal.

Lamar Jackson?!?! The Heisman winner?!?

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I really think that a good name for the new Houston Franchise would be the Houston Comets. Maybe A deep space purple as the primary and yellow or orange for the secondary, (though I would like orange, because orange and purple are my favorite colors)

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8 minutes ago, RealSkillsAbraham said:

I really think that a good name for the new Houston Franchise would be the Houston Comets. Maybe A deep space purple as the primary and yellow or orange for the secondary, (though I would like orange, because orange and purple are my favorite colors)

Cleveland already has the space themed name in the Cosmos and with the purple already

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21 hours ago, Cardsblues02 said:

Houston Roughnecks with a gold and navy scheme would be pretty awesome. Thats about as “Texan” as it gets and I love it. Hopefully they can win fans over right away with a great brand. Then hopefully they can win ON the ice, after a few years of rebuilding of course (because how do you expect to compete after what...happened).

This

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Not really crazy about Houston's possible color scheme. It sounds like they'll be confused with the Bulls, who I'm hoping change their look in the future.

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7 hours ago, RightGuard said:

Not really crazy about Houston's possible color scheme. It sounds like they'll be confused with the Bulls, who I'm hoping change their look in the future.

I think its been confirmed that their going back to their classic logo. I think the possible Houston scheme is just much better fit for Houston than Denver.

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Houston's team name should focus on energy rather than oil, just my opinion. Houston is known as the energy capital of the world.

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2004 World Hockey Challenge

 

                                                     X0lHfVm.png

 

In August, 2004, National teams from ten different countries arrived in Stockholm for the eighth World Hockey Challenge. The Russians entered the tournament looking to win their third title in a row, The host Swedes entered their strongest team eve, while the Canadians and Americans were both seeking redemption after disappointing finishes for both teams in 1996 and 2000.

 

Things did not go as planned early on for both North American teams. The Americans opened the tournament against Slovakia. The Slovaks got an early lead when Montreal Royale star Zdeno Kadlec scored twice in the first period. Despite strong play from Matt Darwin in the USA goal, the Americans could not find a way to beat Slovak goaltender Petr Barca as Slovakia skated to a stunning 2-0 win. Meanwhile, the Canadians opened their tournament against Switzerland, a team playing in their first-ever WHC. Despite having only one PHL player on their roster, the Swiss stunned Canada 3-1, spurring panic across the country. The following morning the Toronto Sun ran the headline “No Canada; Why Canadian Hockey is Officially Dead”. It was Canadian GM and executive director Stuart Holly who proved to be the calming voice. “We will be OK, it’s one game for crying out loud” said Holly, who himself had played in the first four tournaments.

 

In Pool B, both the Russians and the Swedes got off to fast starts. Each team allowed only two goals in their first three games, meaning their showdown at the end of the round-robin would decide first place in the pool. The game would be a goaltending exhibition between Alexei Rolonov and Viktor Holmqvist. Holmqvist was peppered with shots early, as Swedish defenseman – and Holmqvist’s new Boston teammate – Matt Andersson took a penalty. The dangerous line of Igor Zharkov, Ilya Severov, and Alexei Ivanov had some big chances but could not beat Holmqvist. At the other end, Rolonov was forced to keep the Swedes off the board through a late surge to take the lead. The climax came when he had to stop a 2-on-0 with Jonas Andersson and Hendrik Akerman. Ultimately, the game ended in a scoreless tie, with Russia getting first place thanks to a goal differential tie-breaker.

 

After stumbling out of the gate, both Canada and USA played very well through the rest of the round robin. Canada shut out Slovakia and defeated Great Britain 3-1, while the Americans took out Switzerland 8-0 and Great Britain 4-0 with Matt Darwin turning in one of the best goaltending performances ever at the WHC. It would all come down to the battle of North America for first place in Pool A. Darwin finally allowed his first goal against since the opener just six minutes in when his Milwaukee teammate Brad McNair scored to give Canada the lead. The United States responded when Jake Wilson beat Pierre Noel to tie the game. The 1-1 tie would hold until midway through the third period, when Joe Murdock took a pass from Kris Nazarenko on an odd-man rush and beat Darwin to give Canada a 2-1 lead. It was all on Rimouski, Quebec native Pierre Noel now. Noel stopped 12 shots in the final minute alone before Eric Moon sealed the win with the empty-netter to give Canada the win and first place.

 

                     Zqj8tzu.png

 

Canada’s reward for finishing first was a quarterfinal date with the Czech Republic, a team that had underachieved in a tough pool but was considered dangerous nonetheless. Despite strong play from goaltender Petr Kaleek early, the Czechs simply could not contain the fast, hard-hitting Canadian style and soon 18-year-old Kaleek was beaten twice by McNair, then by Jared Baxter and Brendan Marlo in a 4-1 Canadian win. Meanwhile, the Americans faced a similar opponent in the scrappy Fins. Finland made life miserable for Matt Darwin, planting big, tough winger Antti Pulkkinen in front of the net. The Fins soon took a 2-1 lead but the American defense simply had too much size for Pulkkinen in the end. Veteran behemoths Randy Fernandez, Scott Drayton, and Kevin Hoyle each took turns delivering cross-check after cross-check to Pulkkinen and Jarkko Nikula as the game turned nasty. Finally, thanks to goals from captain Jason Crowley and Gus Avery, team USA skated to a 3-2 win to advance to the semis.

 

The host Swedes were expected to roll over Switzerland, a team that was not even supposed to make the elimination round. However the Swiss team continued their gritty play and managed to force Sweden to a shootout, where goals from Mikael Forsberg and captain Gustav Mattsen gave the Swedes the win and allowed the home crowd to breathe again.

 

The semifinals would be a repeat of the 2000 tournament, as USA faced Russia and Canada faced Sweden once again. Though the Russians had an advantage over the Americans in speed and skill, they were simply unable to match their size nor could they solve Matt Darwin. Goals from Jake Wilson and Travis Watson propelled Team USA to a 2-0 win and a berth in the championship game. In the other semifinal match, Sweden remembered all too well the heartbreaking late third period loss to Canada in the 2000 semis. This game would be tight as well, tied 2-2 after regulation. Two entire nations spent the five-minute overtime holding their breath as Sweden’s Peter Lundholm and Canada’s Rob Wentzel rung shots off the post. Overtime solved nothing, sending the game to a shootout, where Holmqvist and Noel turned away shot after shot. The shootout went to sudden death, where Swedish captain Gustav Mattsen beat Noel just below the bocker to give Sweden the lead. Canada needed a goal from Brad McNair to tie it. McNair skated in and deked Holmqvist. It appeared he had him beat but could not quite lift the puck over Holmqvist’s pad. The crowd was ecstatic, as Sweden would advance to the championship game for the first time ever, while the Canadians were devastated. The country that was considered hockey’s home had now gone four straight tournaments without a win.

 

The United States faced Sweden in the title game and the game proved to be unusually high-scoring from the get-go. Mike Bidden opened the scoring for Team USA, then Darren Reid made it 2-0. It appeared the Americans might take their second championship until Matt Andersson’s point shot found its way past Darwin to bring the game within one. Late in the first period, the Americans once again extended the lead on a goal from Jake Wilson, who at age 20 was having a MVP-worthy tournament. USA led 3-1 going into the second period. Darwin and Holmqvist held the game at 3-1 throughout the second and the Americans appeared to be on their way to a title entering the third period. However, just 20 seconds into the third, Tomas Axelsson beat Darwin on a breakaway to bring the game within one. The Americans nursed the 3-2 lead for 12 minutes until Mattsen scored to tie the game. The Swedish crowd erupted while the Americans began to panic. Sweden nearly scored again when Mikael Larsson was sprung on a breakaway, but Darwin stepped up to make the save. The game would go to overtime, which ended quickly. The Swedes were forced to kill off a Lukas Edstrom penalty that was called in the dying seconds of the third period. After killing the penalty, Sweden rode the momentum and shifted the play into the American zone, where Gustav Mattsen immediately jammed a rebound past Matt Darwin to win the game and the tournament for Sweden. Mattsen, who would be named tournament MVP was mobbed by his teammates while the crowd gave their team a standing ovation. Mattsen then took the trophy into the crowd where the players celebrated with their fans. “We did it! We did it!” he screamed into the camera when interviewed. It was only the second time ever that the host nation won the tournament.

 

                                          cSKezHF.png

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Britain's white jerseys are the best of the bunch here, no question. Shame they suck.

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Anything on the table to bring the team total to 12 for the 2008 Challenge?

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I know they're a product of the times, but those Switzerland jerseys are a...

 

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So if I had to pick my favorite uniform in the entire series, that white British uniform would by 1 far and away.

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I love how pathetic the southern division is.🤣 Also, you might aswell have moved the Claymores from Nova Scotia to Uruguay when they left for New Orleans. #Sound2India2006

That, or just contract the damn team

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